Sunday 8 October 2017

Awesome time playing at FestivalBAR πŸ™‚

NOT much time to spare this morning as we need to load in at the festival site around 11am.

The weather’s not so good today, but I don’t think it’ll cause any problems. There’s plenty of folks on hand to help with the load in and soon I’m sound checked and ready for my 1pm show.

Preparation of the big festival lunch – a special gumbo – is being overseen by yesterday’s headliner  Larry Garner who’s brought his own recipe from his home in Louisiana.

There’s so many folks we know here for my show – plus many festival organisers, promoters, magazine folks and a heap of photographers from all over France. There’s great enthusiasm, interest and encouragement and I have a great time playing.

Margaret is swamped at the merch table and it’s a good thing we brought extra merch. Once things have calmed down I pack my gear then go to do an interview with one of the French blues magazines whose journalists ply me with whisky.

Official business over, we go backstage and have a huge plate of gumbo…I’m gonna have to pester Larry for the secret!

Sugaray closes the festival with an awesome afternoon set…with a highlight being an acoustic section and some accapella numbers.

We hang out backstage with Larry, Sugaray and his band while some work is done breaking down the village outside, then at 8pm work stops and we all eat and drink for the next few hours. It’s been an awesome few days…and a great trip.

The hospitality and kindness form  our hosts has been exceptional.

Long trip home tomorrow…

The FestivalBAR team at the close of a great weekend..

..and Sugaray closes the festival stage in style.

Thursday 5 October 2017

Lunch with the festival team

THE morning’s spent at the old mill catching up with some work then we drive to the festival site for lunch with the FestivalBAR team and folks building the ‘festival village’.

After a nice two-hour lunch we tale a trip to Chinon to pick up some stuff…we want to get a gift for FranΓ§oise – Dominique’s mum – who’s been our hostess at the old mill.

Back at the mill, we get some more work done then make our way to a venue across the road for the festival site for tonight’s gig – a private show for the festival team, volunteers, sponsors, industry folks and other esteemed guests. The PA is set up when we get there and load in and sound checks go smoothly.

There’s canapes and bubbly, then festival association president Christian and ‘boss’ Eric say a few words before I play a couple of 45-minute sets. We have a blast πŸ™‚

Once done, we head backstage at the festival site for a late dinner, then back to the old mill….

A selfie in Chinon…

..and on stage for the festival kick off party πŸ™‚

Friday 10 March 2017

30+ songs mixed in two days at Chem19 studios with Paul Savage πŸ™‚

ANOTHER early start to get to Chem19 studios for the second day of mixing the live tracks recorded last Saturday.

We go more than halfway yesterday, so the pressure’s off a bit – but there are some alternative takes and technical issues on a few tracks we need to resolve.

Both Margaret and I really like working with Paul – not only is his knowledge, technical ability and empathy with what we’re doing second to none, he’s such good company too πŸ™‚

With a break for lunch – steak in pepper sauce from the catering can along the road – we’re done by 8pm. It’s been a long, but not laborious day, and everything is sounding promising. We take home 30-odd mixes which we need to sort out over the weekend…we’re going back on Monday to have the mastering done.

Normally we wouldn’t have the same person (or even studio) doing the mastering, but Paul now has a solid understanding of the project and the needs of the various formats we’re planning. He and the studio are also available, so we can keep the project moving and it makes sense at every level.

It means we need not only to listen through and check all the mixes, we need to decide formats (CD, vinyl etc) and what tracks will be on each – that’s gonna be a lot of discussion and juggling…and there may be technical considerations to take onto account too.

We stop for some shopping and get home sometime after 10pm, by which time we;re ready for a drink!

After we eat we decide to watch Lost in France, a movie about the Chemikal Underground label and some of it’s bands – which co-incidentally includes Paul and his wife Emma (Delgados) – re-visiting a trip from the mid-1990s to play a show in Brittany. We love it – available on Curzon Home Cinema – the app is available on smart TVs, Amazon Firestick etc…